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Topic: Jade jags job with Yoo know who Return to archive
June 29th, 2005 04:44 PM
Ten Thousand Motels Jade jags job with Yoo know who
Julie Earle-Levine
June 30, 2005
The Australian

JADE Jagger is at home in Ibiza, Spain, slicing up a chicken from the local market for our lunch, a teriyaki stir fry.

Wearing snug, extra low-cut jeans that show a honey-coloured tan, Jagger, daughter of Mick and Bianca, moves with slow, easy confidence. Her caramel coloured hair is loose and long, her lips plump and expressive.

The view from the kitchen of her 500-year-old Spanish farmhouse is stunning - mountains and green as far as the sapphire-blue sea. Jagger stops for a moment to enjoy it, knife poised. "Yeah, the design of my house just puts you right in it. This is my kind of sanctuary."

Indeed, and now it can be yours. At least you can buy a slice of something like it. Jagger has no plans to sell her Spanish hideaway, but she is selling her design talents. The 33-year-old mother of two has signed on as creative designer for Yoo, the British property developer with 4000 loft-style apartments worldwide to date.

Her appointment at Yoo has surprised some. Jagger is perhaps first known for her partying and as the daughter of Rolling Stone, Mick. She does not have a design degree.

Jagger views her home in Ibiza, which she designed with architect and business partner Tom Bartlett, as one ideal way to showcase her talent and invited me to visit. Jagger describes her home as "a mix of traditional Jagger bohemian style with a clean, modern feel".

After lunch, she took me on a tour, starting in the kitchen, that uses white corian, a marble-like material Jagger says is great to work with, but very heavy.

"The kitchen is made for a big family that loves to cook, so we have a big Aga stove (best for slow-cooking roasted meats and vegetables) to keep everyone toasty in the colder months."

An orange aluminium table by MDF Italia matches custom-sprayed Gio Ponti chairs. The floor throughout the house is industrial rubber that Jagger says gives you a spring in your step. "It never creaks, and bounces glasses and youngsters with ease."

Next is her bedroom, or boudoir as she prefers to call it, a former hayloft with floor-to-ceiling windows framing the mountains and an enormous, freestanding Japanese bathtub by William Garvey, made out of teak.

"It is as big as the kitchen and used a lot where we as a family can all get clean and beautiful as we relax and talk."

Her four-poster bed is also teak. A fireplace is next to a bespoke round futon for "after-bath" relaxation, or if her daughters want to be close-by. Portraits of her six dogs adorn the walls. A walk-in closet spills with designer clothes and racks of shoes for an event every night, whichever city she may be in. Jagger splits her time between Ibiza and London and is often in New York.

Downstairs, hip hop music thumps. "This is the 'teenager's' room, where they don't study," says Jagger as she sweeps past her daughters, Assisi, 12, and Amba, 9, who have arrived home from school.

An outside seating area with Indian silk throw cushions and statues of the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesh is part of Jagger's decorative Bohemian aesthetic. She has brought back her Ganeshes and fabrics from India over the years - they help to "keep my eyes alive", she says.

Walking from the main house, we pass one of the house's two pools, with an enormous mirrored disco ball above it, and what look like naked tepees, just upright poles and no covers. "In the winter we take the skins down, but in summer, guests stay there. Kate (Moss) prefers to stay inside the house." The teepees have fur blanket beds where guests can recline on plush cushions and oriental carpets.

The pool, which is rendered pink concrete on the inside, turns the water a delicious green. The landscaping was difficult. "We wanted to do it without changing the feeling that it was a farm house with a lot of land. It seems like sabotage sometimes when you put all the concrete down."

A dirt path cuts through green land that is scorched black in summer. This leads to a spacious studio where Jagger draws and paints each day. Doors open out onto a terrace and infinity pool. Cactuses in terra cotta are eye-catching against white walls.

There is also a studio for her boyfriend, musician Dan Williams, and a guest room, where everything is vermilion and reminds of sindoor, the deep, rich blood-red powder used in Hindu rituals and by women to show they are married.

The walls are lined with books, mostly novels, design, art and inspirational books that Jagger says she likes to read. "I think that sadly, the beauty of a well-read book shelf is sorely underestimated, both as a feature and as a part of daily life."

She puts some wood in the fireplace, and settles into a chair covered with an ornate Indian wedding shawl. Williams occasionally DJs in the adjoining studio. "I love every space to be multi-functional so we keep the spaces open."

I mention a photo of her in a London tabloid that day, of a paparazzo leering at her in a skimpy orange dress and Jagger bristles. "Public perception of me can be totally annoying. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out."

Jagger sees herself as a serious, self-taught artist and argues that she has been creative her entire life. "I spend every breathing day thinking about art, and yet somehow, people see me in a different way."

Jagger's paintings have sold for thousands of pounds, even though her critics suggested that it was the family name, rather than talent that made them sell. She has been designing jewellery for British jeweller, Garrard, since late 2002.

Jagger's design influences have been people her mother admired and was friends with, such as the artists Ross Bleckner and Francesco Clemente. "From my early childhood I thought that Andy Warhol with his whole factory concept was genius."

At Yoo, she will be working closely with designer Philippe Starck, the other half of Yoo, and with Bartlett. Yoo's other partner, John Hitchcox, is betting that Jagger will bring a feminine side to the design of its apartments worldwide. The company is currently working on five, 40-storey buildings. Yoo's entire portfolio is 6500 apartments, worth $US3.5billion ($4.5billion).

Its Australian operations comprise the 440-unit Tribeca Apartments in joint venture with R Corporation at Powlett Street in East Melbourne, with a gross value of about $US183million, and 83 apartments in Carrington's Meta project at Brisbane Street in Sydney's Surry Hills, with a gross value of about $US40million.

"Yoo would love to have further projects in Australia -- it is just a question of finding the right joint venture partner and location," a spokeswoman says.

In Melbourne, Yoo is converting the first Foster's Brewery in the Tribeca district. The building was first constructed by Scottish brewer Thomas Aitken and will become 440 apartments, with interiors by Jagger and Philippe Starck, and four Australian designers: Rice & Skinner, SJB Interior Design; Hecker Phelan and Hassell. Prices will range from $500,000 to $640,000.

Bartlett says Jagger "manages not to be too worried about taste but still creates something that is quite tasteful. She manages to mix a pop aesthetic with modernism, and her use of colour is extraordinary".

He particularly likes the orange kitchen setting against lilac curtaining.

Jagger will help design four concepts for Yoo, encompassing different lifestyles. "There have to be different applications in each place, but I think there should be a recognisable philosophy." The four concepts are: Boho, Artisto, Disco and Techno. "Boho is kind of luxurious, with ethnic finishes. Artisto is leather, traditional colours and that kind of English, quintessential racing green.

"Disco relates back to what I remember of the Studio 54 generation, Halston, carpeted stairs and plush recessed seating."

Bianca was a fixture at the New York nightclub along with Warhol, whose paintings adorn the walls in Ibiza. Jagger has recessed seating at Ibiza - and then there is the disco ball.

I imagine swimming underneath the ball on a balmy Spanish evening after too many Proseccos might be problematic. The sparkle of the sun on the ball in the day momentarily blinds me.

Jagger sees it all as art and remains passionate about design. Her art career began when she left modelling to immerse herself in Renaissance art in Florence.

"I really love the idea of spreading out art and creativity into products and things that are affordable and attainable." It is not yet clear what a slice of Jade will cost. Hitchcox says prices will depend on the location and scale of each project.

As for branding herself, she makes no apologies. "I think we have become a society that enjoys lifestyle identity." Yoo's investment in Jagger depends on it.
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